Teach Students to Structure Persuasive Arguments: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls of Persuasive Essay Writing

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Teach Students to Structure Persuasive Arguments: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls of Persuasive Essay Writing

When students begin learning to write a persuasive essay, they often experience common problems that weaken their arguments and prevent them from conveying their message.

When helping novice writers compose a persuasive essay, it is useful to provide them with parameters in the form of dos and don’ts. Being a free essay writer, I have worked out the following suggestions that are proven to help students make informed decisions when constructing their arguments.

                   Don’t Lose Focus on the Topic

                   The purpose of a persuasive essay is to convince readers that a certain point of view is valid by providing substantial evidence in the way of facts, reasons, and statistics. Cue terms, such as “convince” or “persuade” are always evident in the prompt, so writers should plan to respond by developing a clear position and using succinct examples to elucidate their key points. To strengthen an argument, a writer should encourage readers to take a specific action or adopt a specific belief relating to the essay topic.

                    Don’t Confuse With Other Essay Formats

                     A persuasive essay is not merely a comparison/contrast essay, which generally presents the pros and cons of two items or ideas. It may show a balanced perspective – the good and the bad – about each item without passing judgment or establishing an argument. True, writers may incorporate this organizational method to a limited degree in a persuasive essay. However, students must be reminded that, ultimately, a conclusion must be drawn from the comparison that furthers their singular position.

The comparison/contrast essay structure can easily be manipulated to serve the purpose of a persuasive essay if students keep the following in mind:

         •   When presenting the opposition’s argument, be sure to concede points that cannot be denied. Then, heartily refute these points by weighing in more heavily on your side. That is, if the topic is “convince your reader whether school lunches need to be improved,” writers who support improvements should discuss the current school lunch menu and acknowledge its nutritional value. Then according to the online essay writing service, writers can compare it with an alternative menu that is even more balanced, nutritious, and tasty.

        •   Don't concede too little or too much. A compelling argument must unfold throughout the essay and lead readers toward a convincing summary in the conclusion paragraph. Writers should neither ignore the opposing viewpoint nor give it too much validity as to weaken their argument. The key is to strike a balance that conveys a sense of fairness as well as purpose.

        •   Don’t leave readers hanging with the idea that both sides equally possess good and bad points. One position should appear more favorable.

                    Create a Deliberate Structure

        •   Avoid stating your full argument upfront as it will make the rest of the essay feel to savvy readers like an uninspired rehash of ideas. Instead, work towards developing a firm position by responding to the following questions:

        •   Do you want to save your strongest argument for last?

        •   Do you want to structure your essay that you introduce the points in your argument in order of significance? Brainstorming on your key reasons supporting your argument and then sequencing them before drafting will speed up the writing process and help writers define their parameters.

        •   Is a new piece of your argument being developed in each body paragraph?

        •   Does each body paragraph end with a convincing point that relates to your thesis?

By keeping in mind these suggestions, your students will gain a better understanding of what a persuasive essay looks like as well as how it can help fulfill its purpose. Be sure to remind students that the research papers they will write in high school and college are essentially extended persuasive essays.


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